Global warming! - I must say that it is doing wonders for Okarito. It appears to be tempering our prevailing westerly and causing less rain, though still plenty to keep the garden and bush green. Bring it on!
The change from 30 years ago is quite noticeable, in particular, the absence of "old-man floods". Bit of a puzzle because we were told to expect more extreme events. We still suffer periods of dismal wet weather, as happened in September this year, but they seem briefer compared to the recent past.
I do not subscribe to the politics that NZ should lead the world in reducing our carbon footprint. Check out the climate models on the ICCP website and you'll see that NZ suffers the least temperature rise of any nation, bar the Falklands, because our climate is moderated by the surrounding oceans. Hardly cause for panic. Despite all the rhetoric from the left the reality is that NZ has spent little to mitigate climate change -we can't afford to.
I also disagree with NZ's choice of an ETF scheme rather than a simple carbon tax. The problem being that ETF's will create an army of measurers, administrators and regulators - a feast for "ticket clippers" who will inevitably burden the productive sector. A carbon tax applied to coal, oil products, etc would have been so simple by comparison. My carbon tax would be set high, deliberately, to generate significant revenue which would then be offset by reducing company and/or personal tax, thus providing real incentive for change.
Coming back to Okarito, the only problem I foresee is a minor issue about having to stand waist deep in water in our kitchen in 100 years time. But by then our house will be derelict and my great great grandchildren can live on the hills overlooking the ocean.